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Worst Booked Champions

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  • #16
    I will concede that there are some people out there who still think about the size to that extent, I have seen them at PPVs at bars. I just don't think there's enough of them to worry about anymore. You can't win all of the people, ever, anyway.


    I'm not a Jinder fan in the least, and I think his reign was a travesty, but they didn't even execute the idea they had with any competence. You want your new Khali-like ethnic champion to break into the nascent Indian market? Fine. But they rushed it all so quickly and did no promotion work, so it never even mattered. It was just a waste all around. I don't think Jinder, even if all the cards had been played right was going to be become what they wanted him to become, but they didn't even play the cards right.


    • #17
      I've also seen them in movie theatres, as they watch action flicks with giant super hero type stars. Or how the UFC still puts huge marketing into their heavyweight division. The fact is that the intrigue into a super human looking athlete is undeniable. This isn't to say smaller guys can't draw. But they do start with a disadvantage out of the gates. Like all visual media, attention spans are prone to lose interest of there isn't something making an immediate impression. Athleticism can't hold a candle over a super hero physique. You can capture Brock's immense presence in a still photo, but you can't capture Reys agility in one.

      Denying that size matters will only frustrate yourself. This isn't about Vince being obsessed with his 80s eras giants. It's Vince knowing for a fact that an impressive look grab attention in ways nothing else in wrestling can. A hulking monster doesn't need 5 seconds to execute a high flying death defying move. Just a stare in the camera can get the same job done.

      This also isn't to say that athleticism isn't a factor. But it's a factor that you need extended time to showcase, unlike size and musculature. It's the same reason most female wrestlers are attractive, as their looks are part of marketing themselves.

      Jinder was a worthwhile experiment, and wasn't nearly as bad as many claim. But you're absolutely right, the mistake wasn't in his run at the top, but how he got there. It's in fact similar to my argument about the suggestion that Rey should suddenly become dominant with clean victories once he became champion. Jinder was a jobber, who suddenly won the title, and we were meant to take it seriously. He should have earned more on his way to the top, and regained some sense of realism. Having trouble with Mojo Rawley shouldn't lead to defeating Orton a couple of times in a row. And if the goal was to promote the expansion into India, then a clean winning record would have helped with that. Losing a bunch, and then becoming the main event Honky Tonk Man is no way to become a star.


      • #18
        Ha, stirred up a bit more than I thought I would!

        For Rey, I'll concede that it doesn't necessarily matter why he beat Orton and JBL, and I'll certainly concede WWE's booking of Rey was far from dominant or perfect prior to his title win. I really don't have a problem admitting that Rey might have been unsuccessful even if he was booked perfectly. But, as Pen very rightly alluded to, they didn't even try with him. He was booked like a chump who lost over and over again just weeks out of the gate. On top of that, let's not forget he was booked to tap out behind the ref's back in the same match he won the title. The guy with the biggest heart in wrestling who was fighting for the memory of his dead best friend tapped out a couple minutes into his big title match! So yeah, from day 1 it's clear that someone, be it Vince or others, didn't really want to try with Rey. And to me, that's bad booking for a champion!

        Regarding Simmons, I certainly agree he was never intended to be the guy, and it's not like they portrayed him as a complete chump (well, at least not on the Mysterio level). But why stick the title on a guy for almost half the year with no plans to really try him as a big deal? I don't get the idea of putting the top title on a guy you have no faith in or no plans for.

        Certainly anyone post-1998 in WCW could qualify here, just because of how much stupid crap came out of first Nash and then Russo.

        Glad Cult mentioned Sting, because even though I'm iffy on whether the guy was ever well fitted for the spot, he was certainly hamstrung by bad booking during a lot of his shots with the title. Lest we forget, his first title win led to a pre-match promo where he scolded the crowd for not respecting Ric Flair enough! (Though whether he was booked to do that isn't something I'm sure of). Lame angles like the Black Scorpion dogged him early on, and after he became the Crow his crowning win became infamously tainted right away, and things went downhill from there.

        Luger in 91-92 could have been much better, for sure... I honestly liked his feuds with both Simmons and Rick Steiner but they should have been secondary feuds in between the bigger matches that never seemed to come for him.

        Bray Wyatt's reign is a good call, even in an era of poorly booked champions that was a rough one! And Orton's first reign too was mentioned, terrible decision to turn him face right out of the gate considering he only had experience as a heel and was really only popular for being so good at being a cocky asshole. Coming up short to Triple H of course didn't help either, and the whole thing set him back badly after a super promising year prior to the win.

        Warrior feels to me like a case where the booking was there but Warrior just wasn't up to shouldering the company the way Hogan did, plus with Hogan still hanging around it was always going to be tough to look like the top star.

        Mixed feelings on Jinder... I wasn't really a fan and obviously there was a lot of fan backlash. Prepping him better for the role absolutely would have helped a lot.

        The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!